Frankie Bridge health: ‘I became convinced I had killed my child’ – anxiety

Frankie Bridge health: ‘I became convinced I had killed my child’ – anxiety

Frankie Bridge enjoys sunny weather with family

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From performing in S Club 8 to The Saturdays, you would think that Frankie Bridge exudes confidence, yet – as with us all – she is vulnerable to feelings of anxiety. In a candid extract from her book, Grow: Motherhood, mental health and me, Frankie revealed the pinnacle of her unhelpful thought patterns. As a new mum at the time, to Parker (now eight), Frankie doubted her judgement to have her little boy vaccinated against chickenpox, after hearing that it is best to do so after the baby is one year’s old.

Frankie explained: “The guilt and fear I had felt throughout the day spiralled. And it resulted in a complete meltdown.

“My paranoia kicked into overdrive,” Frankie continued. “I became convinced I had killed my child before he’d even really got the chance to live.”

The NHS stated: “The chickenpox vaccine is not part of the routine childhood vaccination schedule.”

While no harm was done by Parker having the chickenpox vaccine, Frankie recognised how the responsibility of being a mum compounded her paranoia and exacerbated her fears.

The 32-year-old singer has had a history of mental health struggles, sharing that at one point she “couldn’t cope with everyday life”.

Before becoming a mum, when she was still a part of The Saturdays, Frankie was admitted to a private psychiatric hospital in London to treat her depression.

“Just because someone’s life looks amazing, that doesn’t mean it is,” she said.

“People would wonder what I had to be sad about, and I get why people feel that way. God, I feel it too. That’s part of the guilt.”


Nightingale Hospital explained that generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) relates to intrusive and ongoing anxiety.

While feelings of fear and worry are a normal human reaction to threatening or difficult situations, GAD can often make situations feel bigger than they actually are.

Symptoms of GAD include:

  • Feeling worried for a large majority of the time
  • Racing thoughts
  • Heightened alertness
  • Uncontrollable overthinking
  • Feeling tired
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Changes in appetite
  • Feeling irritable
  • Sleeping badly
  • Disassociation
  • Wanting to escape or avoid a particular situation.

Physical symptoms of GAD can include:

  • Irregular heartbeats (palpitations)
  • Sweating
  • Muscle tension and pains
  • Breathing heavily
  • Dizziness
  • Faintness
  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhoea.

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A post shared by Frankie Bridge (@frankiebridge)

Treatments for GAD can include group therapy, individual therapy, and family therapy.

Therapies include psychotherapy (how past experiences can inform the present and learning to deal with this in a helpful way), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and medication.

“CBT will help to learn more positive emotional and behavioural responses to situations and feelings that bring on your anxiety,” experts at Nightingale Hospital stated.


Depression is characterised by a persistent low mood or sadness that affects daily life.

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A post shared by Frankie Bridge (@frankiebridge)

Stressful and triggering life events – such as a job loss, divorce, separation, and bereavement – can lead to depression.

Psychological symptoms of depression include:

  • Low mood that persists over several weeks
  • Losing interest in life and feeling hopeless about the future
  • Losing interest in things you used to enjoy
  • Loss of self-confidence
  • Thinking critically about yourself
  • Increased anxiety
  • Finding it harder to make decisions
  • Feeling unable to cope with tasks that used to be manageable
  • Feeling exhausted and lacking motivation
  • Feeling restless and agitated
  • Avoiding social events and activities you used to enjoy.

Physical signs of depression can include:

  • Fatigue or low energy levels
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Headaches
  • Changes in sleeping patterns, either sleeping more or less than usual
  • Digestive problems
  • Low sex drive
  • Unexplained aches and pains.

Treatment can include counselling, CBT, as well as interpersonal and dynamic therapy.

If you would like support with feelings of anxiety or depression, more information and resources are available at Mind.

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